There's a reason that firing rubber bullets should be the last step at keeping control over a violent situation in the workplace.
In the latest incident, ten striking miners were admitted to hospital after being injured by rubber bullets in a clash with security guards near Rustenburg. Here are four steps to reporting any injury or incident like this to the Compensation Commissioner to meet your responsibilities under the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act.
In the latest case of violent strike action, ten striking miners at a chrome mine owned by chemicals group Lanxess near Rustenburg have been admitted to hospital.
The miners were injured after security guards fired allegedly fired rubber bullets at them, says Fin24.
This just goes to show that no matter how much health and safety training you give your employees, there's always a risk that safety procedures themselves could lead to injuries, says FSPBusiness.
And the Department of Labour says it's your responsibility to protect all employees' health and safety, even when safety procedures go wrong, says the Health and Safety Advisor.
And remember every incident and injury must be reported, no matter how big or small.
Here's why you need to report every incident and injury to the Compensation Commissioner
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, an 'incident' is 'any event that happened but that should not have happened', such as these rubber bullet injuries.
And The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 130 of 1993 (COIDA
) provides compulsory compensation for all employees under a contract of employment, for the death or personal injury suffered in the course of their employment, says SheqAfrica
So any employee under a contract of employment is covered by COIDA if he's injured in the workplace.
And as an employer, you have a legal obligation to register with the Compensation Commissioner and could face severe penalties if you don't comply with your responsibilities for compensation to employees.
Here's how to do so...
Four steps to submitting a compensation claim to the Compensation Commissioner and ensuring it's received
If an employee is injured while on duty, you'll need to submit a completed form and certified copy of the employee's ID to the Compensation Commissioner at P.O. Box 955, Pretoria, 0001.
Remember to also include any medical reports issues as proof of the employee's injury.
Then, it's also a good idea to keep copies of everything you send in as proof you've fulfilled your legal obligation.
You can follow up on your submission in 14 days to obtain a claim number, which you'll need to keep as proof that they've received your documents, explains FSPBusiness.
Just remember that compensation claims won't be paid if they're instituted more than 12 months after the accident of the employee or if the employee was off work for three days or less as a result of the injury, says The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf.
Did you know it's a legal requirement to have your own copy of the OHSA and COIDA, and you need to have it an area where everyone in your company can have access to it?
to get both copies of the OHS and COID Act booklets now!